Monday, March 05, 2012

There and Back Again

A month or so ago we decided that we would like to make a trip to Edmonton once I was done working to get away for a weekend.  We arrived back today a few hours ahead of the biggest snow storm that we have had this winter (there is up to 20cm or 8inches forecast to fall by tomorrow!).

We arrived on Friday afternoon and checked into our hotel.  We have stayed at the Wingate Inn the last couple of times we have stayed in Edmonton and I would recommend it.  It isn't super cheap, but it is nice and there is a great breakfast included in the price.  There is even a pool, hot tub and water slide for those who like that.  I think one of the biggest anxiety about traveling for us is finding a hotel that is accessible enough for us to have a comfortable stay.  I don't think we could stay at the Wingate for an extended period, as the shower is not usable for Jay, but for a couple of nights it is perfect.  I also think that the Wingate is in an ideal location.  It is on 100th Ave which is really close to lots of great restaurants and is only a few blocks northwest of the West Ed Mall.

Friday evening we had supper at the Olive Garden.  I have to say that my meal was adequate but not too spectacular.  There was nothing wrong with it, but it was kind of bland.  However, the salad and bread sticks were delicious and the service was top notch!  After supper we decided to check out Kingsway Mall..  It was nothing too exciting.  We walked around but didn't end up buying anything.

Saturday morning we went to the Massage Therapy Supply Outlet for me to pick up a few things.  Then carried on to the South Edmonton Common.  We spent a couple of hours at Ikea picking up some things that we had wanted to get and had lunch there.  We then checked out a few stores in the South Common and I ended up buying a pair of pants and a top at Banana Republic and a pair of shoes at the Shoe Company.  We drove all over trying to find the Gap Outlet, but somehow missed it (according to the map it was near Banana Republic, but we didn't see it!).  Since we were done shopping before supper time we headed back to our hotel to drop off our purchases then went to Joey for supper.  We have always enjoyed it in Calgary and wanted to eat there.  When they seated us, they asked if we were okay with poolside.  We said, 'uh, I guess so'.  They have this huge indoor fountain/pool thingy that we sat next to.  It was really nice, and the food was great!

We were hoping to find something a little bit unique to do in Edmonton, other than just shop, so we looked online at some museums.  We opted to check out the Royal Alberta Museum Sunday morning and it was worth the trip.  The museum was divided into four sections.  There are two permanent exhibits (Aboriginal culture and natural history) and two feature exhibits (moth photos and Aboriginal art).  I think the natural history part was the best.  There were a lot of different types of minerals/rocks/gems on display, a bug room (including live cockroaches and tarantulas, ugh!), a dinosaur room, and a section about animals found in Alberta.  The moth photos were really interesting.  I have never seen such colourful diverse looking moths.  The way the photos were produced by scanning the moths made the photos almost look three dimensional.  The first couple looked like the moth's body was actually fuzzy.  Really neat!

After the museum we headed to West Ed and walked from one end to the other, upstairs and downstairs for a total of about three hours.  I could not believe how busy that mall was!  I would say worse than the Midtown at Christmas time.  And I always feel like when you go to a mall and it's busy, if you duck into a store it will be less busy.  Not at West Ed...ugh, so many people everywhere!  I bought another shirt and we just did a lot of walking and people watching.  We weren't sure we wanted to be at the busy Bourbon Street restaurants for supper, so we headed to the Cheesecake Cafe and it was quite quiet in there.  Supper was good and we got a piece of cheesecake to go to share later in the evening.

After checking the forecast for today we woke up early this morning and got on the road by 9am.  It was a relatively uneventful drive home and we were anxious to get here.  We picked up Kiwi from my parents house around 4pm and came home to unpack and have supper.  It is so good to be home and it will be so nice to sleep in our own bed tonight!

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